The Spider

Once there was a young wombat called Benson who lived in a hole in the ground with his mother and his two aunts, Lillibet and Moss.

One morning Aunt Moss was peeling apples at the kitchen bench. Benson was at the table, colouring dragons. All of a sudden Aunt Moss gave a kind of scream and jumped back, with the peeler still in her hand.

“Benson!” she said. “Look!”

She pointed with the peeler. On the bench there was an apple, and around the apple was a brown hairy spider.

Benson jumped up and went over. “It’s all right, Aunt Moss. He won’t hurt you. He’s got a friendly face.”

Aunt Moss didn’t move. She was afraid of spiders. She wasn’t afraid of snakes, and she wasn’t afraid of the dark and she wasn’t afraid of burglars, but she was afraid of spiders.

Benson said, “I’ll take it outside, don’t worry.” He carefully lifted the apple up by its stem, and took it outside. He carried it over to the fence where the long grass was and put it down. Then he saw a long green snake in the grass.

“Help!” he shouted. “Help! There’s a snake!”

Aunt Moss ran out. She picked up Benson in her arms and held him tight. “Shoo,“ she shouted at the snake. She stamped on the ground with both feet and shouted. The snake slithered away, under the fence and into the bushes way on the other side of the paddock.

“It’s all right, Benson, it’s gone now,” she said. Benson opened his eyes again.

“It was a snake,” he said.

“I know,” Aunt Moss said. They gave each other a big hug.

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